Consistory

London Metropolitan Archives, MS DL/C/A/001/MS09065B, fols 2v-3r

This website features witness testimony from lawsuits heard in the 1480s and 1490s before the London Consistory, the highest-level church court in the diocese of London. People from the London diocese, which included the city and the counties of Middlesex, Essex, and parts of Hertfordshire, brought their disputes about a range of issues central to their lives to this court. About half the cases involved marriage conflicts, the other half centring around defamation, debt, the probate of wills, and other issues. The testimony of their witnesses reveals much about marriage, gender, sexuality, law, urban life, labour, credit, material culture, concepts of honour and reputation, literacy, the workings of the ecclesiastical court system, and religious beliefs and practice.

The original records are in Latin; these translations to modern English (click here for access to the Latin transcription) are by Dr. Shannon McSheffrey, Professor of History at Concordia University in Montreal. This project has been supported over many years by the Ames Foundation at the Harvard Law School.

Consistory Court Cases

Office c. John Eggot, John Wyndell, Thomas Auger, John Umfrey, and William Herd

In 1490, five men of the parish of Ramsden Crays in Essex were summoned to the Consistory to explain why they were refusing to pay tithes to their parishContinue reading Office c. John Eggot, John Wyndell, Thomas Auger, John Umfrey, and William Herd”